Russians export looted Ukrainian grain through Crimea – Ukraine’s Resistance

Russian invaders are using the port infrastructure of Crimea to export looted grain from the occupied districts of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia region. This was reported by the Ukrainian Resistance Centre.

Russians are likely sending the looted Ukrainian grain to African markets. We can find out that the grain that Putin offered to some African countries for free after the termination of the Grain deal might appear to be stolen Ukrainian grain.

The Russia-Africa summit, which failed for Russian dictator Putin, was attended by representatives of the occupation authorities State Grain Operator, which is engaged in the robbery of Ukrainian farmers from the occupied territories, according to the Ukrainian side.

The Russians also use the occupied Mariupol, where grain trucks travel toward the Russian cities of Novoazovsk and Rostov-on-Don. 

Russians buy grain for almost nothing and only to imitate the appearance of market relations. All farmers in the occupied regions have to sell their wheat to the Russia-installed occupation authorities at a fixed price, which is many times lower than the market price, the Ukrainian Resistance Centre reported.

Russian grain exports from Crimea increased

As an example, let’s recall that in 2022, Russia increased wheat exports from the annexed Crimea to Syria 17 times – to more than half a million tons. Reuters reported this by quoting the Refinitiv data.

This volume is almost a third of total grain imports to the country. At the time, Ukraine accused Russia of stealing Ukrainian grain in the occupied Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions. Moscow denied the allegations of grain theft.

Read also: Russia used the Grain deal to get sanction exemptions for its bank.

Russia’s termination of the Grain deal

On July 17, the Black Sea Grain deal was terminated by Russia. Moscow announced the suspension of the Grain deal and threatened “risks” to the parties that continue to transport Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea without Russian participation.

Moreover, Moscow launched massive missile strikes on the port infrastructure of Odesa and the Danube ports. Russian assaults have shown that Ukraine needs more modern air defence systems to protect the cities and the ports and ensure food security worldwide.

The agreement was signed in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 22, 2022. It allowed Ukraine to ship more than 33 million tons of grain by sea.

The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, said that by terminating the grain deal, Russia further exacerbates the global food security crisis.

How Grain deal termination impacted the world

Russia’s withdrawal from the grain deal means that Russia will no longer guarantee safe passage through the waterway. Ukraine is calling on other countries to help with the transfer from its three ports covered by the agreement.

Bloomberg reported that Ukrainian grain will still reach the market via other routes. Still, higher transportation costs could negatively affect the sowing season, which starts in a few months and could reduce global supplies in the long run.

Before Russia’s all-out war, Ukraine exported more grain than the European Union, supplying about half of the sunflower seeds and oil sold worldwide. Even during Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine was the sixth-largest exporter of wheat and the third-largest exporter of corn. 

In 2022, Ukraine’s grain exports exceeded 48 million tons. In 2022-2023, Ukraine will account for about a sixth of global trade, despite Russia’s ongoing war.

In the middle-term and long-term Ukraine and its partners can find solutions for the Ukrainian grain supply. But it will impact the shipment costs. Even if a famine is avoided, grain prices will jump, and it can generate a food crisis in many countries.

Read more: What does the end of the Ukrainian grain export deal mean for the world?

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